There’s absolutely nothing worse than dealing with a broken air conditioner during a heatwave. The first signs of an imminent breakdown may be subtle—unusual noises, odd smells or reduced cooling. Before you know it, these small issues escalate into full-blown malfunctions. However, with a bit of forethought and regular maintenance, you can keep your air conditioner running smoothly. Here are 10 tips to prevent AC problems this summer.
One simple yet effective tip is to check the air filter monthly and replace it when it appears dirty, going no more than 90 days between filter changes. A clean filter promotes smooth airflow, improves indoor air quality and enhances air conditioning efficiency. A clogged or dirty filter, on the other hand, causes your AC to work overtime, which may result in breakdowns.
The outdoor AC unit needs adequate space to intake and exhaust air effectively. Regularly check the area around the unit, removing loose debris like leaves, grass clippings or twigs. Then, trim back any vegetation growing within 12 inches of the unit. These steps can prevent AC problems and promote optimal performance.
Air conditioning doesn’t just cool the air—it also removes excess humidity. This moisture drips into the condensate drain pan and then flows down the drain line. These components can become blocked over time, causing leaks and potential water damage. Routinely inspect the drain pan and line for blockages to avert these AC issues.
Your air conditioner typically operates with a soft, consistent hum. If you hear unusual grinding, screeching or hissing, you can bet something’s wrong. Similarly, if you detect strange electrical burning smells or musty odors, it’s time to investigate. These issues can indicate various AC problems, including motor damage or mold growth, and should be addressed promptly.
While closing vents in unused rooms may seem wise, doing so creates pressure imbalances and reduces system efficiency. To prevent AC problems, keep at least 80 percent of your return and supply vents open and unblocked by furniture, rugs and curtains.
Programmable thermostats are intuitive devices that optimize your AC’s operation and prevent problems. Once you program your preferred schedule, you can sit back and relax while your thermostat does the rest. Smart models are even more advanced, allowing you to check and adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere or even control the settings with your voice.
AC efficiency doesn’t just involve the unit’s mechanics. Adequate insulation is also crucial for maintaining a comfortable interior, preventing warm air from seeping in and cold air escaping. The attic is the easiest place to add insulation to an existing home, so peek inside the hatch to determine if the floor is covered with a thick, even layer of insulation. If not, you may want to add more insulation to enjoy significant energy savings and prevent straining your AC.
Turning on the oven, stove or clothes dryer at the hottest time of the day significantly increases your AC unit’s workload. When possible, cook and do laundry in the evening or early morning to minimize unnecessary AC activity. When preparing dinner in the summer, consider reheating leftovers in the microwave, eating cool meals like sandwiches and salads, or barbecuing outside on the backyard grill.
While a ceiling fan can’t replace an AC unit, it can certainly complement it. Ceiling fans create a wind chill effect that makes the room feel about 4 degrees cooler. This added comfort lets you set your thermostat to a higher temperature, reducing the workload on your AC system and potentially preventing AC problems. Just remember to turn off the fan when you leave the room. After all, the wind chill effect cools people, but it doesn’t lower the temperature in the room.
Regular AC tune-ups are a proactive measure aimed at finding and fixing small issues before they escalate into serious problems. A yearly check by a qualified HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner for summer, saving you from inconvenient breakdowns and expensive repairs by ensuring your AC is working optimally.
Now that you know the top tips to prevent AC problems, you can follow these steps to keep your home cool and comfortable all summer long. Whether you need to schedule a preventative tune-up or emergency AC repair, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has you covered. We are committed to providing comprehensive and efficient maintenance, repairs and installations to meet all your cooling needs. For reliable AC services in your area, call 866-397-3787 today to schedule an appointment with the Experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.
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